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Streptococcosis in Pet Birds

Streptococcosis is a systemic infection of birds caused by species of
genus Streptococcus.

Streptococcosis occurs worldwide and can affect chickens,
turkeys, ducks, geese, pigeons, and numerous caged and wild birds.

After an incubation period of one day to several weeks, two distinct
clinical forms can result.

In the acute form, the signs are related to septicemia and include
depression, lethargy, lassitude, pale combs and wattles, and a
decrease in or cessation of egg production; many times, dead
birds are the only finding. Necropsy lesions include an enlarged
spleen, liver, and kidney. The spleen may be two to three times
larger than normal and dark red to purple. With hepatomegaly,
hemorrhagic to necrotic foci may be on the serosal surface and
may extend into the parenchyma. Sanguineous pericardial and
subcutaneous fluid with peritonitis are not uncommon.

Lameness, swollen hock and wing joints, conjunctivitis, and
depression with emaciation are typical of chronic
streptococcosis; associated lesions include fibrinous arthritis
and synovitis, salpingitis, pericarditis, perihepatitis, necrotic
myocarditis, and valvular (vegetative) endocarditis.
Well-circumscribed, pale areas of infarction in the liver and
spleen due to emboli from the valvular lesions are common with
vegetative endocarditis.


Penicillin and oxytetracycline are effective during the acute
phase of the disease. Other effective antibiotics and
antibacterials include erythromycin, bacitracin, lincomycin,
tetracycline, chlortetracycline, novobiocin, and the nitrofurans.
Isolates in clinical cases should be tested for drug sensitivity
for optimal results.


Reducing stress and preventing immunosuppressive diseases and
conditions. Proper cleaning and disinfection can reduce resident
steptococcal flora to minimize environmental exposure.

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